One Wild and Crazy Night
If you were watching the D-backs play the Cardinals on Tuesday night, you saw not only one of the craziest games we’ve seen in this ballpark in some time, but also one of the most amazing individual stat lines you’ll ever see.
Before we get to some fun facts about last night’s 16-run bonanza, here’s the FanGraphs win probability chart, which has a lot more peaks and valleys than you’ll usually see in a game:
— Until Chris Snyder’s two-out RBI single in the sixth inning, no team led this game for more than a half inning at a time. The Cards scored two in the first, immediately answered by two for the D-backs in the first. The Cards scored another two in the third, which was immediately trumped by three D-backs runs. The Cards then answered with three in the fourth, which swung the D-backs way again with a Mark Reynolds three-run homer in the bottom of that frame.
— It seems hard to believe in a game in which the Cardinals scored seven runs and put 12 runners on base — nine hits, two walks and a strikeout/wild pitch — but the D-backs pitchers closed out the game retiring 16 consecutive batters. Haren intentionally walked Albert Pujols in the fourth inning setting up a Matt Holliday groundout, and no Cardinals reached base after that.
— Haren tied the franchise record for hits by a D-backs pitcher with his 4-for-4 effort. They weren’t just random, cheap hits though. In the third inning, Haren had a two-out RBI single to drive in Gerardo Parra to give the D-backs a lead. In the sixth, A.J. Hinch sent Haren to the plate to hit for himself even though Juan Gutierrez was warming up and the move paid off, as Haren poked a two-out single to left to turn the lineup over.
— He turned the lineup over exceptionally well, actually. Three of Haren’s four hits came with two outs, the other came with one out.
— Haren’s line is one of the strangest things you’ll ever see from a pitcher:
Pitching: 6 innings, 7 runs (all earned), two walks, eight strikeouts, three home runs, WIN
Batting: 4-for-4 with an RBI
Here are the eight instances in which a D-backs pitcher has had three or more hits in a game. I think it’s pretty obvious who the two best hitting pitchers are in D-backs history:
|1||Dan Haren||2010-04-20||ARI||STL||W 9-7||4||4||0||4||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||P|
|2||Micah Owings||2007-09-27||ARI||PIT||W 8-0||4||4||1||4||3||0||0||3||0||0||0||0||0||P|
|3||Micah Owings||2007-08-18||ARI||ATL||W 12-6||5||5||4||4||1||0||2||6||0||0||0||0||0||P|
|4||Dan Haren||2009-06-02||ARI||LAD||L 5-6||3||3||1||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||P|
|5||Dan Haren||2008-09-21||ARI||COL||W 13-4||4||4||1||3||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||P|
|6||Micah Owings||2008-04-26||ARI||SDP||L 7-8||3||3||2||3||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||P|
|7||Enrique Gonzalez||2006-07-17||ARI||LAD||W 8-3||3||3||1||3||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||P|
|8||Curt Schilling||2001-09-05||ARI||SFG||W 7-2||4||4||2||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||P|
— It’s not often that you see a pitcher give up seven runs and still win a game. It takes some luck, some bullpen help and an awful lot of timely hitting by the offense. In fact, the D-backs have won 976 games in franchise history, but only three times has a pitcher given up seven runs and still recorded a win, and last night was the first one in eight years:
|1||Dan Haren||2010-04-20||ARI||STL||W 9-7||GS-6 ,W||6.0||9||7||7||2||8||3||104||69||32||28||26||0||1|
|2||Rick Helling||2002-04-20||ARI||COL||W 9-8||GS-5 ,W||5.0||7||7||7||2||7||2||92||58||30||23||21||0||0|
|3||Curt Schilling||2001-04-25||ARI||FLA||W 10-7||GS-7 ,W||7.0||13||7||7||0||12||3||105||77||35||33||31||3||0|
— Since the year 2000, a pitcher giving up seven but still getting the win has happened only 42 times. The last player to do it strike out as many batters as Haren did (8) last night? He was on that list above — Curt Schilling’s 12 strikeouts in 2001.
And this, from Jayson Stark of ESPN, on combining Haren’s pitching and hitting lines:
Dan Haren had himself a game Tuesday you sure don’t see much. He went 4-for-4 at the plate — but gave up seven runs on the mound. So how long has it been since we saw a pitcher get four hits and allow at least seven runs in the same game? More than half a century — since Mickey McDermott did it for the Red Sox, in a 14-10 win over the Yankees, on May 25, 1953.
If nothing else, last night’s crazy game was evidence that it’s always a great night out at the ballpark — you never know what you might see.